Cookery Maven Blog

California Zinfandel & Washington Syrah

"In water one sees one's own face; But in wine, one beholds the heart of another." An Old French proverb

2010 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris

Not only is the label hip and cool, the wine inside the bottle is top-notch. A heady nose of wild berries, smoke and pepper combined with a dense and full body are pure Washington Syrah. There is a fair amount of dark fruit, cherries and licorice on the palate with a medium finish; it's not the biggest Syrah I've had but it's an easy drinking and very smooth wine. I'd recommend either opening the bottle early or decanting, it needs a little time to breathe in order to put it's best foot forward and show you how spectacular Washington Syrah can be. My favorite wine shop, Bayfield Wine and Spirits has a couple bottles left.

2010 Orin Swift Zinfandel Saldo

I really like California Zinfandel but I get tired of overly jammy, one note Zins. Dave Phinney. the winemaker behind The Prisoner, has an uncanny sense for blending big, assertive wines while still maintaining balance and nuance. This vintage is 82% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 6% Syrah, 2% Grenache, sourced from 17 vineyards.  Saldo means 'balance' and the zesty spices and anise flavors provide a perfect counterpoint to the dark, lush fruit. This is one of my all time favorites. A glass of Saldo is balm for a rough day or a celebration in the glass for a good one— it's a versatile Zin with way more than one note.